Purpose: To evaluate the central macular thickness (CMT) and the cystoid macular edema (CME) after uncomplicated phacoemulsification surgery.
Material and methods: Ninety-one eyes of 88 patients who underwent uncomplicated phacoemulsification surgery between December 2008 and May 2009 were included in the study. Detailed ophthalmologic examinations and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurements were done preoperatively and at postoperative 1st, 4th, 12th, and 24th weeks. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was measured as logMAR units at preoperative and all postoperative visits. Mean CMT, and perifoveal macular thickness in superior, inferior, nasal and temporal quadrants were recorded. CME was defined as three standard deviations (SD) above the preoperative mean CMT in OCT measurements. Fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) was performed at postoperative 12th weeks. Data was analyzed statistically by using ANOVA test, and paired samples t test with Bonferroni correction.
Results: The mean preoperative CMT was 255.68 ± 23.04 µm. The increase in CMT was statistically significant at postoperative 1st, 4th, 12th, and 24th weeks (p = 0.043). The most significant increase in CMT was seen at 12th weeks (p = 0.028). The change in perifoveal macular thickness measurements in the temporal, nasal, superior and inferior quadrant was statistically significant at postoperative 12th weeks (p < 0.001, for all measurements). The increase in macular thickness did not correlate with BCVA at postoperative 1st and 4th weeks but there was a significant correlation at postoperative 12th and 24th weeks. The incidence of angiographic CME at postoperative 12th weeks was 3.2%. The appearance of CME in OCT was observed in 5.5% of eyes at postoperative 12th weeks.
Conclusion: Macular thickness changes after uncomplicated phacoemulsification surgery and Spectral domain OCT is helpful in detecting cystoid abnormalities and any increase in macular thickness at postoperative early periods. Changes seen on OCT do not completely correlate with FFA findings.